Denise Ho Puts On Free Show

Cantopop singer Denise Ho performed at a free concert in Hong Kong on June 19 after much controversy and an originally canceled gig.

Photo: AP Photo / Vincent Yu
Cantonese pop singer and outspoken activist Denise Ho, left, performs during a free concert at a street in Hong Kong June 19. 

She was slated to appear on that day in a concert sponsored by cosmetics maker Lancome, but the company eventually canceled the show due to “security reasons,” though many believe Lancome caved in to criticism from mainland Chinese who didn’t appreciate Ho’s support for pro-independence forces in the territory. “Hundreds of waving fans” attended the 90-minute concert, which was staged on the streets of the Sheung Wan district, according to AhramOnline.

Ho told reporters, “In Hong Kong, suppression is going on. We need to resist. Even when we don’t speak up the suppression will not go away, more will happen.” She also said that after Lancome pulled its sponsorship, other brands that had shown interest in partnering with the singer lost interest as well.

In a related story, Chinese authorities canceled an invitation to an aboriginal Taiwanese children’s choir after it was learned that the choir had sung Taiwan’s national anthem at the inauguration of the island’s new president.

The Puzangalan Choir had been slated to take part in a choral festival in Guangdong Province in July, but right after the chorus performed at the inauguration the invitation was rescinded. When she heard about the cancellation, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen donated TW$500,000 ($15,430) to the group, which had intended to raise money in China so that it could attend a singing competition in Hungary in August.

China still considers Taiwan to be an integral part of the People’s Republic and rejects any indication that the island is an independent political entity.